michael walker

The Sonnet - Poem by michael walker

I came across the sonnet at high school: the form
appealed with its fourteen lines and rhyme scheme.
I read Petrarch's love sonnets and they seemed
to have an octave and sestet as the norm.

Thomas Wyatt took the Petrarchan sonnet from Italy to England.
Thomas Howard launched the English version soon after.
The English sonnet had three quatrains and a final couplet.
William Shakespeare wrote and popularized that sonnet.

Reading alone, I wanted to be a citizen of the world like Wyatt,
an innovator like Howard: I was republican like Milton.
Reading aloud to students, hoping to impress, I found that
I could recite the sonnets from memory, closing the books.

I like the modern sonnet of fourteen straight lines, little rhyme.
It takes its rightful place with the sonnets of earlier times.


Poet's Notes about The Poem

I taught very many sonnets in high schools, sometimes with the book closed. I went to Shakespeare's place of birth, Stratford-Upon-Avon, where I saw his play 'Richard 11'.

Comments about The Sonnet by michael walker

  • Gold Star - 35,597 Points Gajanan Mishra (10/14/2014 9:07:00 PM)

    taking rightful place, very fine sir. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Poem Edited: Sunday, April 12, 2015

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